STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

1/27/2000 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from

NASA CORE

A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00

plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard,

check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address

below:

 

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

440/775-1400

FAX 440/775-1460

nasaco@leeca.org

http://core.nasa.gov

 

Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.


STAR GAZER

Episode # 00-06

1157th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/7/2000 through

Sunday 2/13/2000

"A Great Big Red Star For Valentine's Day,

Slowly Beating Like A Giant Cosmic Heart"

Horkheimer: Greetings! Greetings! Fellow stargazers and because the color red is always associated with Valentine's Day we thought we'd give you a special cosmic red Valentine, one which you can share with your loved one or even with your not-so-loved one if you choose. Let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for any Valentine's Day night for any year as long as you live. Because if you go out any clear Valentine's Day night between the hours of 8 and 9, and look due south you'll see a very bright red star shining high above the horizon.

In fact it is the brightest red star we can see with the naked eye from planet earth and just coincidentally it reaches its highest point above the horizon every Valentine's Day between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. It marks the shoulder star of the great sky giant, Orion the Hunter and its name is 'Betelgeuse' which in Arabic means 'The Armpit' which isn't very romantic for Valentine's Day. But if you want to give your beloved a really big Valentine, well this is about as big a one as you'll ever find. You see if we do some comparison of Betelgeuse, our Valentine Star, with our own star, the Sun, and our own planet, the Earth, you'll understand why.

Now we all know that our Earth is 8 thousand miles wide, pretty dinky compared to our Sun which is 865 thousand miles wide. But to really understand their differences in size just try to imagine that we could fit over one million Earth's inside our Sun. However to understand the size of Betelgeuse really takes a stretch because we could fit over 160 million of our Suns inside of it! When it's at its smallest size. And I say smallest size because Betelgeuse is one of those stars that changes its size regularly, like a humongous slowly pulsating heart that beats only once every six years. In fact when Betelgeuse is fully contracted and at its minimum size it is still about 500 times the diameter of our Sun. And when it expands to its maximum size it stretches to almost 900 times our Sun's width. Or if you care to think of it this way, if we could place Betelgeuse where our Sun is, at its minimum Betelgeuse would stretch out all the way past the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, all the way to Mars, and at its maximum would reach all the way to Jupiter. Wow!

So there you have it. A great big humongous Valentine, a red star slowly beating like a heavenly heart for your sweetheart, courtesy of our local galaxy. And to see it simply go outside any clear Valentine's Night between 8 and 9 p.m., look due south and there you'll see it at its very highest above the horizon. But just to play it safe, and so as not to look like a cheapskate, I still recommend that you purchase that traditional box of chocolates. Besides, it will be great fun to eat by the light of the great Valentine's Star if you simply remember to Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-06 M

2/7/2000 thru 2/13/2000

"The Valentine's Day Star"

 

Horkheimer: Want to give someone the biggest, reddest Valentine ever? Then go outside with your honey Valentine's Day night between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m., face due south and you'll see the brightest red star visible to the naked eye from planet earth at its highest point above the horizon. It's named Betelgeuse and it slowly pulsates like a giant heart. And when fully expanded it is so huge that if we could place it where our sun is it would reach past Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, all the way out to the planet Jupiter. It's almost a billion miles wide. So this Valentine's Day give the biggest Valentine of all, a giant red star which pulses like a heart full of cosmic love. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 



For graphics for this script (Click) Here

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

 


* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.
This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.

Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer






 


STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

1/27/2000 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)


 

Star Gazer is also available from

NASA CORE

A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00

plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard,

check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address

below:

 

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

440/775-1400

FAX 440/775-1460

nasaco@leeca.org

http://core.nasa.gov





Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.


 

STAR GAZER

Episode #00-07


1158th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/14/2000 through Sunday 2/20/2000

"The Brightest Star In The Night Sky"

Horkheimer: Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and although there are many bright objects in the heavens right now in early evening, one of them holds the distinction of being the brightest star star visible from the planet Earth, other than our Sun, a star admired and even worshiped throughout the ages. Let me show you:

O.K., we've got our skies set up for just after sunset facing southeast where you will see the brightest constellation of them all, Orion the Hunter, 2 bright stars marking his shoulders, 2 bright stars marking his knees and 3 not quite as bright stars equally spaced in a row marking his belt. And if you shoot an imaginary arrow through Orion's belt down to his left you will see a dazzling star which literally outshines all the stars in the heavens as seen from planet Earth, the star Sirius which marks the the eye of Orion's faithful companion, Canis Major, the Great Dog.

In fact we can make a very nice stick figure of a dog by drawing lines between Canis Major's stars with Sirius marking his eye. Indeed, Sirius is nicknamed the 'Dog Star', although personally I prefer one name the ancient Egyptians gave it, the ' Soul of Isis'. But whatever name it has enjoyed for the past several millennia, it is still the brightest star we can see from planet Earth.

But there's a catch here because although it is the brightest star we can see from Earth it is by no means intrinsically the brightest. It only appears to be the brightest because it is so close to us. In fact, it is the fifth closest star to planet Earth, not quite 9 light years away which, although near, cosmically speaking, is still over half a million miles farther away from us than our closest star the Sun. and although we can see many stars which are hundreds of times larger than Sirius, like Orion's red shoulder star Betelgeuse, even so Sirius does make our own star, the Sun, look rather puny by comparison because while our Sun is about one million miles in diameter, Sirius is almost twice as wide. And while our Sun burns a relatively cool 10 thousand degrees Fahrenheit, and shines 25 times brighter. Thank heaven Sirius isn't as close to us as our Sun is or we'd all have to wear sunglasses to get to sleep at night.

At any rate, if you watch Sirius when it is close to the horizon it will look even more dazzling than when it's up high. In fact it will flash and sparkle and change brilliant colors like a cosmic jewel unlike any other star in the heavens. So get thee outside to see this stellar wonder. It's truly magnificent. Just Keep Looking Up!


For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#00-07 M

2/14/2000 thru 2/20/2000

"The Brightest Star In The Night Sky"

 

 

Go outside any night the next few weeks, face southeast and if you shoot an imaginary arrow through the 3 stars marking the belt of Orion you'll come to the brightest star visible from planet Earth, Sirius, the eye of Orion's great dog which has been admired and worshiped throughout the ages. It appears the brightest only because it's so close to us, a mere 9 light years away. We see many stars hundreds of times larger. Even so it is twice as wide as our Sun and shines 25 times brighter. And when it's close to the horizon it flashes and sparkles and changes brilliant colors like a cosmic jewel, unlike any other star in the heavens. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!


For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

 




 
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer






STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION




STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

1/27/2000 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from

NASA CORE

A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00

plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard,

check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address

below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

440/775-1400

FAX 440/775-1460

nasaco@leeca.org

http://core.nasa.gov




Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.



STAR GAZER

Episode # 00-08


1159th Show


To Be Aired : Monday 2/21/2000 through Sunday 2/27/2000

"The Venus Challenge"
 

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and although the brightest of all the naked eye planets, our so-called twin sister planet, 8 thousand mile wide Venus, has been the most dazzling object in the pre-dawn skies for the past several months, it is fast making its exit and after the next couple of weeks will not be seen again until the end of this summer. So for those of you who would like to bid this wondrous morning sky object goodbye I invite you to accept the Venus challenge. Let me show you:

O.K., we've got our skies set up for the morning of Friday, March 3rd, facing east in twilight, just before dawn, that is just as the skies are beginning to brighten. And if you have a clear, flat horizon, preferably over a lake or an ocean, you should be able to see Venus dazzling like a great search light on the horizon. In fact, I'm sure many people will mistake it for a UFO because whenever Venus is close to the horizon its light is distorted and it actually seems to flash and move about.

Now if you look up to Venus' right you'll also see a very slender sliver of a very old waning crescent moon. And as an added treat if you have a small telescope, next to Venus you will see the 7th planet out from the Sun, 32 million mile wide Uranus. And if you look an equal distance to the right of the moon as Venus is to the left of it, you'll see the 8th planet, 31 thousand wide Neptune. However all of these objects on this morning will present a real challenge because they will be so close to the horizon and in twilight.

Now for many of you this will be the last week you'll see Venus, although some of you who have extremely clear flat horizons may actually be able to catch an extremely close meeting of Venus and the first planet out from the Sun, 3 thousand mile wide Mercury in the pre-dawn twilight on Monday morning the 13th, Tuesday the 14th, Wednesday the 15th and Thursday the 16th. But after that you can kiss beautiful Venus goodbye until September.

But don't fret, there's always something beautiful and wonderful in the heavens to observe and in fact, if you go out just after sunset and look west Tuesday, March 7th you will see an exquisite 2 day old crescent Moon complete with earthshine hugging the horizon. And just above it, lined up in a row, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The next night, Wednesday the 8th an even more beautiful Moon will be just past Mars. But the most wonderful night of all will be Thursday the 9th when an exquisite 4 day old Moon will create a triangle with Jupiter and Saturn. And the next night a 5 day old Moon will make an almost straight line with the 3 outer planets providing yet another wonderful sight. Thursday night the 9th however will be the best! So get thee outside for the Venus challenge and watch the Moon as it visits the 3 outer planets. It's wonderful if you just Keep Looking Up!

 

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#00-08 M

2/21/2000 thru 2/27/2000

"The Venus Challenge"

 

Horkheimer: If you've been looking east every morning before sunrise the past few months you've been dazzled by the brilliant light of our so-called twin sister planet, 8 thousand mile wide Venus. But if you haven't seen it yet do so now because in 3 weeks Venus will disappear into the glare of the Sun and will not reappear until September. Look east just as it starts to get light out. Have a clear flat horizon and you'll see it sparkling and dancing about as its light passes through the thick moving layers of our Earth's atmosphere which hug the horizon. In fact, to many it will look like a UFO. On Friday March 3rd an exquisite old crescent moon will be up to its right. See it now and bid it fond farewell. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 



For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

 


* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.
This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.

Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer






STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION




STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

1/27/2000 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE

A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00

plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard,

check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address

below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

440/775-1400

FAX 440/775-1460

nasaco@leeca.org

http://core.nasa.gov




Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.


 

 

STAR GAZER

Episode #00-09


1160th Show



To Be Aired : Monday 2/28/2000 through Sunday 3/5/2000

"Getting Ready For

A Great Meeting Of The Planets"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and if you're a regular viewer then you know that for the past few months we've been watching the 3 closest outer planets, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, slowly and relentlessly move night after night, week after week, month after month, toward each other. But if you're not a regular viewer and have never watched the planets in their majestic parade across the background of the fixed stars it's not too late to start now because these 3 planets are getting ready for a spectacular meeting just a few weeks from now.Indeed, planet watching is one of the oldest hobbies in the world and has fascinated hundreds of generations for thousands of years. Let me show you.

 

O.K., we've got our skies set up for New Years Night, January 1st, 2000, 7 p.m. your local time facing west and I remember quite well where the planets were at that time because I wanted to make sure the Y2K bug hadn't disrupted the cosmos. Closest to the horizon was 4 thousand mile wide planet number 4, Mars, and high above it, 57 degrees away was dazzling bright, king of the planets, planet number 5, 88 thousand mile wide Jupiter. And if you recall, one degree is 2 full moon widths so Mars and Jupiter were 114 moon widths apart. And up to Jupiter's left only 15 degrees away,or 30 full moon widths, was planet number 6, the ringed beauty, 75 thousand mile wide Saturn. And if you went out only once a week throughout January you would have easily noticed that the planets were slowly moving toward each other, Mars moving the fastest, of course, because the closer a planet is to the Sun the faster it moves. Indeed if you went out February 1st at 7 p.m. you would notice that Mars had moved from 57 degrees to only 36 degrees away from Jupiter and Jupiter had moved from 15 degrees to only 12 1/2 degrees away from Saturn.

But the heavens and the planets in them are a-moving so that by this week on Wednesday March 1st Mars will be only 18 degrees away from Jupiter and Jupiter only 10 degrees away from Saturn. And they'll continue to close in on each other. Indeed on April 6th Mars will be next to Jupiter and on April 16th it will be next to Saturn. And on Memorial Day Saturn and Jupiter will meet each other. Wow!

Just think of it, January 1st Mars was 57 degrees from Jupiter and Jupiter 15 degrees from Saturn but this week Mars is only 18 degrees away from Jupiter and Jupiter only 10 from Saturn. So you still have time to start your own hobby of naked eye planet watching which is one of the oldest hobbies in the world and which doesn't cost a dime.

And for another free bonus you can watch an exquisite crescent Moon visit these planets next week. Wednesday March 8th the Moon and Mars, Thursday the 9th the Moon and Jupiter and Saturn, and Friday March 10th the Moon and the 3 planets lined up in a row. Become a planet watcher now. Just go outside any clear night and Keep Looking Up!

 

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#00-09 M

2/28/2000 thru 3/05/2000

"Get Ready For A Great Meeting Of The Planets"

 

Horkheimer: On New Years night if you looked west just after sunset 3 bright planets would have caught your eye. Closest to the horizon, 4 thousand mile wide Mars, a huge 57 degrees away from 88 thousand mile wide Jupiter, and Jupiter 15 degrees away from 75 thousand mile wide Saturn. But the planets move slowly and relentlessly and they're getting ready for a grand meeting next month. In fact if you go out this week Mars will be only 18 degrees away from Jupiter and Jupiter only 10 from Saturn. And you can watch them come closer night after night. And next week you can watch the moon pass these 3: Wednesday the 8th, Thursday the 9th, and Friday the 10th. Become a planet watcher now. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!



For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

 


* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.
This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only
Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer

 



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